Both you regular blog readers know that we pay the highest prices in the world for natural gas while we sit atop 420 trillion cubic feet of it in the Outer Continental Shelf. We can’t tap this enormous reserve because 80% of it is subject to a federal moratorium. And so we sit helplessly and watch prices soar as we remain the only country in the world that limits access to its own natural resources. As a nation, we impede our own competitiveness in the bargain. Other countries can only look on and shake their heads, happy that we’re narrowing our own competitive advantage.
We’ve been agitating for some time to open up that area of the outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to exploration — exploration that can be done in an environmentally safe way. The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) has issued its proposed five year plan for OCS exploration. It’s a start, but their plan only opens 7 of 26 potential areas to exploration. In short, far less than half a loaf. Closer to a quarter of a loaf, in fact.
The good news is that they have opened this plan up for public comment. If you want to see energy prices start dropping, if you think we should be able to tap our own natural resources — far, far away from the coast, by the way, in an environmentally-friendly way — please click on this link and weigh in with the Department of Interior. The deadline is April 7, so please do so soon and please let your fellow manufacturers know, urge them to weigh in, too.
Here’s a link to the comments that the NAM filed, and here’s a link to our resource page, full of information on this issue. The more you know, the more obvious it is that we should be tapping this enormous reserve and helping ourselves compete with the rest of the world.
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